This is a difficult topic for me to discuss, but I hope my story will help others going through a similar situation.
Denial: 1.an assertion that something said, believed, alleged, etc., is fake 2.refusal to believe doctrine, theory or the like.
In 2010, I went through the worst manic episode I’ve ever gone through. This is prior to my diagnosis of Bipolar 1 Disorder, and PTSD.
I was lying to my husband, spending money like crazy, had grandiose thinking, I was out of the house tremendously, had an exuberant amount of energy, I was for all intents and purposes out of control.
I had begun a strict exercising regime and lost over 80 lbs. in 6-months.
My self-esteem was on high, my persona began to change. I was becoming a different person.
I started hanging out with a single man. His character was very charming to me. He was as was I very into Eminem’s music. The more we talked the more I figured we had in common.
I valued our time together. He excited me.
I saw him almost on a daily basis. We began to text regularly. This would begin to develop into a relationship.
I would lie to my husband, telling him I was going to town to see friends or volunteer at my youngest class at school. Most of the time it was an excuse to see HIM.
One winter, I had left my home for three days. We were expecting a large snow, and I didn’t want to be trapped without being able to see HIM.
I went to stay in our local motel by myself. I was free, finally for a few days. I spent most of my time with HIM. One evening, I had been drinking heavily and one thing lead to another, and I had an affair.
A serious mistake! One I would NEVER had made if in my right mind, not just the alcohol played a part, but my manic episode. This is not who I am. How could I have made such a mistake!
The next day I woke to a text from my husband saying he was coming into town. That he was finally able to get out of the snow. I was freaking out! What did I do? How could I do that? What now?
I quickly checked out of my room, and hustled into town. You see, when I left home I told my husband I was going to stay with a friend. Not in a motel. Mind you I hadn’t planned any of this to happen!
So, I meet up with my husband in town, nervous and anxiety ridden as all could be. We ran a few errands then went home. I didn’t have much to say about my time away but he knew something was up. My pattern began to show.
A few days later, still in mania I went out on my own and got a tattoo. It was out of the blue. I also went shopping too! I came him to a surprised husband. What the hell was I doing?
He sat me down, and tried to figure out what was going on. I lied through my teeth. I cried “why are you hounding me! Leave me alone!”
That effectively ended that conversation. A few weeks passed, and he couldn’t take it anymore. He needed to talk to me.
We headed to our bedroom, shut the door and began the most difficult conversation I’ve ever had in my life! My kids were at school so we were alone.
He started out telling me he loved me, and that he thinks there’s something really wrong with me. Something mental. I thought he was joking. He told me he thought I was bipolar. He had done a lot of research recently and it all seems to fit. Seemed to fit? I thought he was nuts!
Frankly, I didn’t know what to believe. He said I seemed to have a pattern. He thought we should get help. We also discussed my stay in town those three days. I really didn’t want to…but it was time. I confessed to what I had done.
It was a clarifying moment and sobering moment for us both. One to get things out in the open, two because now I was free of my burdens. The monkey was finally off my back. I was worried he would divorce me. But he reassured me he was in no such place. We would have to work it out. He already assumed I had an affair based on my attitude towards him and all the lies.
We talked for hours! We both cried, and cried but together. I would break-up with HIM, and try diligently to patch-up my marriage.
That week we called to make an appointment with a psychiatrist and to establish a primary care physician. On my appointment with the psychiatrist I was in fact diagnosis with Bipolar 1 Disorder and PTSD.
I was in fact in a bit of denial still. Could I really have this? Was I clinically insane? What the hell! I was put on Lithium and anti-anxiety pills. I was having massive panic attacks at the time. My husband and I sought out help via therapy to help us get through this ordeal and to help me come to terms with my diagnosis. We went to counseling every two weeks. We also began a healthy habit of talking to each other more openly on a regular basis. This is what got us though this tough time.
After a few months my mania went away. I couldn’t deny the medication worked nor that my affair was an onset to the mania I had just experienced. I was now in acceptance. Ready to move-on.
Acceptance: 1.the act of taking or receiving something offered. 2.favorable reception; approval; favor.
I had finally come to terms with my affair and my diagnosis. I was able to accept the help I was getting and embrace my this bipolar.
I’m now in couples therapy with my husband, and trying to find self acceptance in this all. Mind you we as a couple have come far over this matter. And we are stronger than ever!
We have been together for 13 years now, and are looking forward to a life long journey together!
I’m currently on Tegretol and Abilify. I see my therapist weekly, and with the support and dedication of my wonderful husband I foresee a healing road.
Many have gone through a similar situation, I know I’m not alone and neither are you!
Again, I tell my story in hopes to give others hope that all can be ok. That this disorder doesn’t have to over come who we are but we can over come it!
If you would like to share your story or comment, please do so in the comments. You may also contact me via DM on twitter.